5 Things I Learned From My Roadtrip

blue skies and green sea

1. First and foremost, that self-actualization magically occurs in a moment of soulful contemplation is a naive, romantic ideal best left to hippie kooks that are unlike me in every way (except for my tarot reading, meditating, use of herbs and oils as natural remedies, and impending sweat lodge ceremony…just a few of the exceptions). This moment of realization hit home when my hyper-logical, complimentary other half asked,
“Did you have fun?”
To which I indignantly replied, “I didn’t find what I was looking for.”
“What were you looking for?”
“Self-actualization.”
“And what is that?”
“I’m not really sure, as I did not find it.”
“How can you know you didn’t find it if you don’t know what it is?”
“I don’t know. I think you’re supposed to feel it or something.”
“Have you ever seen the double rainbow guy on YouTube? You’re running the risk of sounding like that guy.”
“But that’s the moment of awe I wanted.”
“I guess we could get some ecstasy or something.”
We just went and got some Splash Cafe clam chowder instead. It was pretty eye-opening.

The picture above may have been a bit deceptive given my reality check. This one with the eerie, Mist-like overcast coming in is more akin to my perception of that day.

2. A realization that stemmed directly from this experience is that I take myself too damn serious. For evidence, see this post which preceded my epic fail.

3. It’s really easy to lose $40 you haphazardly shoved into your back pocket when you’re repeatedly taking out your phone to take pictures of rocks. Not to brag or anything (which means I’m about to brag), I did so well in my geology class in junior college that I was asked to be an aide. Who gets asked to be an aide for geology?! This chick. You may think rocks are boring, but I think they’re cool. And just to spite those of you who think they’re boring, I am posting the $40 worth of rock pics in the middle of this post (though I hope you don’t stop reading to spite me!–skip them if they really bother you that much. Jeez).

4. I never noticed how much death is at the beach. Dead crabs, dead kelp, dead sea weeds, dead little beach scarabs, and some inert, clear gelatinous glob that I suspect may have been a jelly fish.

the spirit has flown from this vessel

This may be a pessimistic view of things but since my self-actualization let down (i.e. no double rainbow moment), I’ve vowed to be more honest with myself and more realistic. Yes, there were people burying their laughing children in the sand and balls being thrown to labs bounding out into the waves, but there was also some freak beach breed of fly everywhere (these were so thick on the rock crevices and kelp carcasses that when they disbanded, I thought it was a plague of locusts. I checked my skin though and there were no boils, so I breathed a sigh of relief there) and there was a fucking bed made up in one of the rock caves. So yeah, realism. Sometimes it messes up your pretty picture of the way life is.

On that note, this post would not be an accurate representation of my visit to the beach unless I include the destruction that hath been wreaked upon it.

T’was a perfectly nice cave before being so sullied by Spike and other motley-minded miscreants

Sometimes the journey is more important than the destination–I totally get that now! Needless to say, after arriving, I had no more of the deep (relative term) thoughts I had on the trip there. It’s like my brain closed down and my soul clammed up (ha…clammed up). I kept waiting for the sky to open and for Squanto to step out and lead me to a spring of enlightenment (it’s okay, I’m like 1/16th Native American), or for the ocean to part and Moses to walk out and tell me “Congratulations! You’ve been selected by the Publishers Clearing House to receive 5,000 spiritual credits every week for the rest of your life!” Joy! I could use some of those.

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7 Responses to 5 Things I Learned From My Roadtrip

  1. This reminds me so much of my own beach vacation a while back. I, too, was going with high expectations of soul-shattering progress (work on a book, for me), and I too had to acknowledge that I have little control over those things, and that maybe my hopes were too high. Once I relaxed and allowed myself to “fail” at my original goal, I got different value from the trip, though. And your pics are beautiful!

    • A. B. Davis says:

      Yes! I was thinking I would be able to whip out a short story I was working on and get tons of ideas for things I’m outlining and brainstorming. Needless to say, no ideas and like four sentences to the short story. But relaxing was nice. Next time I’ll be sure not to be all tensed up with anticipation of “soul-shattering progress”–such a great way to describe it–and I’m sure things will end up feeling better. Thank you about my pics!

  2. Pingback: 5 Things I Learned From My Roadtrip «ostiumunity ostiumunity

  3. ElleKurz says:

    Highly entertaining, Davis. I think it odd that we of the sensitive, creative, often tortured type would seek self-actualization externally. Do those who live at the beach retreat inland to find the peace of mind they so desperately seek? Do they take pictures of litter in gutters and graffiti on the side of buildings. Watch the Labrador take a crap on the one stretch of grass present on the entire street as their master looks around like a paranoid schizoid wondering if enough people were watching that they might actually have to pick up their dog’s mess. When I’m feeling a little lost, a little mortal, a little small, I like to read. It may not answer any of the questions that plague those seeking transcendence, but does often solidify the fact that supernatural creatures are hot and they have a tendency to make you forget the heavier things in life. Okay, I’m done.

    • A. B. Davis says:

      Those damn beach-dwellers must do that to find their peace of mind–if they even ever need to seek it…Reading is a beautiful thing, my friend. I think often it does answer those transcendental questions, even novels that are just purely for entertainment and don’t even seek to answer those questions.

  4. Smash says:

    It is as the pun-loaded t-shirt at the mall kiosk says: Geology rocks! Great post A.B. Even though it may not have been as rewarding as you’d initially hoped, at least you take away with you a day at the beach. And if some inspiration is drawn from that trip, well, that’s just a cherry on top 😉

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